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November 11, 2016
Granbury ISD students joined a community celebration for Veterans Day on November 11, 2016, at the Granbury Resort Conference Center.
Veterans Day
Veterans Day  
Highlighted during the program were the Granbury Marine Corps JROTC color guard and the Acton Middle School honors band and choir.  The music ensemble performed several patriotic pieces, including a medley of Armed Forces songs to conclude the festivities.
Granbury High School junior Brian Hall was named the winner of an essay contest among Hood County secondary school students.
The contest’s objective stated, “Many students think Veterans Day is simply a day to “celebrate” a day off from school. They don’t realize it is instead a ‘celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.’ The objective of this contest is to help students understand the true meaning of this day.”
Veterans Day  
Hall’s essay is framed and will be displayed in the Hood County Courthouse over the next year.  The text of his entry follows:
What Veterans Day Means to Me
This is dedicated to my former math teacher, Mr. [Steven Blocher, teacher at Manitou Springs High School in Manitou Springs, Colorado].
The class sighs and groans knowing that this year's math class will be terrible and boring, but little did we know that our teacher is the most inspirational man I have known. Mr. Blocher enters the class, and the first thing he says is, "Before we start class, I want you all to know that I will dedicate everything to helping you be successful, and I will give my life for any of you." Already, I know that Mr. Blocher is not just your average teacher, he is an inspiration. But what I did not know is that he is a hero.
I spent nearly half a year in his class before I knew that our teacher was a national hero. How I found out is when I saw his iPad screensaver.  It was him wearing an Air Force uniform shaking the President's hand, George W. Bush.  I then did a little research and found out that Mr. Blocher served 8 years in the Air Force before he was shot down in his plane by an enemy. He was then tortured for two weeks straight and then saved by the United States Air Force Reserve team.
After that, he tried to live a normal life, but he had the shell-shock disorder where he had intense flashbacks of him being tortured and going crazy. This was a very serious problem, but it did not stop him from being what he wanted to be:  a teacher. He later got special treatment from a specialist in therapy. Now, Mr. Blocher could go on to teach in school.
Even though this happened decades ago, he still has to listen to relaxing and calming music to keep relaxed. Mr. Blocher was also the most calm, amazing teacher I have ever had. This shows me that no matter what you have been through, you can always accomplish your dreams.  Mr. Blocher did, and he is still one of the best teachers at the high school where he teaches.
Mr. Blocher, you are an inspiration.
Other GISD campus-level winners were:  Megan Bednarz, Acton Middle School; Madison Bills, Granbury Middle School.